A few weeks ago, I took a metals class to make two pendants and I'm totally hooked!
You know how you can see a demonstration and understand how something works but you don't really "get it" until you do it for yourself? That's what happened to me. Actually being able to saw and stamp and hammer and texturize was a revelation! Some things, like chainmaille, I can learn from a book but metal work has lots of tools and banging and filing--this was something I had to be walked through patiently.
I was fortunate enough to find a great class at Brea Bead Works, with Candace White Steppes teaching.
Candace creates a fun learning environment, where you're not intimidated or afraid to make a mistake.
The coolest thing I learned was how to rivet. Just call me Rosie! Being able to connect two pieces together without soldering is a technique that I hope will catapult me to a new level of design work. I need a few more little tools and a drill. The Husband owes me some birthday shopping. Hmmmm :-)
Here's a bunch of the tools I have now, at the bench at Brea Bead Works:
And here's the pendants I took away with me:
I've managed to finish one, with a fire polished glass embellishment and chain, that's actually wearable:
I discovered this weekend that I have a device that makes holes in copper!
I think I bought it in a metal stamping frenzy last year but didn't realize it's significance until now. I have some of those souvenir squished pennies you get at amusement parks with their logo's on them, so I made some holes in those (soon to be bracelets/necklaces!). And then I tried it on my 22 gauge copper, where it worked like a champ. So I made a few holes in the second pendant. Ummm… I think I need a center punch, to make a starting point to line up the bit… Suffice to say, I'll be wearing that one around the house only!
Here's my advice: If there's something you want to learn and there's a class you can afford, go! Not only will you learn something new, it will probably give you a welcome dose of inspiration for your other talents as well!